New Delhi: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will seek fresh tenders for clubs aspiring to be part of I-League 2016-17 as it evaluated bids from three interested parties following the withdrawal of Sporting Clube de Goa from the league.
The decision was taken after the AIFF's bids evaluation committee met in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The committee "evaluated and discussed at length" about the three bids from Minerva Academy FC, FC Bardez Goa and Chennai City FC who have expressed willingness to ply their trade in the next edition of the league.
Upon evaluation, the committee decided to go for a "fresh round of tendering".
Sporting Clube de Goa on Tuesday announced their decision to withdraw from the forthcoming I-League season, and Salgaocar are already ineligible to compete in it. There are reports of former national champions Dempo, who won the second division title earlier this year, also mulling a pull-out.
Kushal Das said, "It's truly heartening to see these three clubs, that too from different states across the nation, showing their enthusiasm to play in the Hero I-League. This actually highlights that we're heading towards a bright future of Indian Football, involving every nook and corner of the country."
Referring to the decision of Sporting Clube de Goa to officially pull out from the next I-League, Das called it "very unfortunate and sad".
"Sporting Clube de Goa have contributed significantly to Indian Football since their inception. It's really sad to see them withdrawing from Hero I-League now," Das said.
Sporting Clube de Goa withdrew owing to "strong objections" to the proposed road map by AIFF and its marketing partners IMG-Reliance for Indian football.
The bids committee comprised of general secretary Kushal Das, senior vice-president Subrata Dutt and I-League CEO Sunando Dhar.